Pacific island chain asks Trump to
declare emergency as typhoon strikes
Send a link to a friend
[September 11, 2018]
GUAM (Reuters) - The governor of the Northern Mariana Islands has urged
U.S. President Donald Trump to declare a state of emergency as a typhoon
struck the U.S. Western Pacific territories overnight and caused
blackouts and damaged buildings.
Typhoon Mangkhut passed through the U.S. Pacific archipelago with speeds
of over 100 mph (160 kph) and a team from the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) was on Tuesday carrying out an initial damage
There were no immediate reports of casualties there nor on nearby Guam,
where a U.S. military spokesman said forces were ready to help local
authorities and FEMA on the chain of 15 islands, located between Hawaii
and the Philippines.
Guam is home to U.S. air force and naval bases and an estimated 7,000
troops. A two-week exercise "Valiant Shield" involving thousands of U.S.
personnel based in the Western Pacific region had been due to start on
Navy vessels were moved out of the path of Mangkhut, which was
strengthening on Tuesday and headed toward the northern part of the
Philippines, its weather agency PAGASA said.
The United States is facing severe storms on several fronts, with a
tropical storm headed toward Hawaii and a million people evacuated North
Carolina in preparation of its worst hurricane in three decades.
[to top of second column]
Northern Mariana Islands governor, Ralph Torres, sent a letter to
Trump on Monday requesting he declare a state of emergency to free
up disaster funds, in anticipation of a typhoon with an impact that
he said could be "catastrophic".
Torres was on Tuesday with a FEMA team heading to Rota, the worst
hit of the 15 islands, a spokesman said by phone.
Authorities on Guam were also assessing damage after Mangkhut pulled
down trees and downed power lines. Hundreds of people stayed in
packed emergency shelters and schools overnight.
Mangkhut could arrive close to the Philippines in the coming days,
with maximum sustained winds of 215 kph, and develop into a super
typhoon, PAGASA said.
(Reporting by Maureen Maratita; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by
[© 2018 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2018 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.